Book Review: Googling God by John Cox

“Googling God” has a subtitle, “Searching for a faith you can believe in.” At first I thought it might be a possible book an unbeliever could read for evangelistic purposes. What I discovered is that it is much better suited for someone who likes to read, or young in their Christian faith, or has hit several bumps in the road and is questioning God. The last two chapters bring the book into focus.

John Cox had the very unfortunate situation of being a pastor and then going through a separation and divorce. Having grown up in Cape Town, South Africa, and living in England, he has traveled extensively to other parts of the world. He is now pasturing in Vancouver, British Columbia after a period of reorganizing his life after his divorce. Using the pain of life, he writes to bring sense to life.

His first three chapters, “Why Bother?” “You Can’t Prove Anything!” and “Is Truth Like a Coke Bottle in the Hand of a Bushman?” open his discussion to be very inclusive of any reader. I set the book down several times, thinking it was too philosophical or lacking direction for the time needed to work through the material. Maybe it is the English culture or an author who likes to write that made me want outline markers for direction. But then it may be just me.

There are some passages that seem to be confusing. For example, he wrote,

Religion pluralism is a reasonable viewpoint with strong foundations in mutual respect for our great religious diversity – which I wholeheartedly support. But here is where the discussion hinges upon the worldview we are embracing as the basis for our reasoning. Religious pluralism is probably completely accurate and reasonable within a closed worldview perspective….At he same time religious exclusivism (not only prevalent in the Christian faith) is also on shaky ground. (p. 112)

But he also understands faith is in Christ alone, although it doesn’t seem his purpose is to clarify a laser focused gospel message. He does understand dependence on the Holy Spirit and clearly notes we cannot do anything on our own. The Lord works through us for His glory.

He does have many good quotes through the book and the last few chapters were very insightful, “Faith” and “Up Close and Personal.” John Cox has been humbled in life and seeks to help those seeking after God to gain a better picture of His grace and mercy. I commend the book if you enjoy reading.

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